Tahlequah Daily Press


May 15, 2014

Summer activities for area youth abound

TAHLEQUAH — Summer fun is just around the corner as schools close their doors for vacation.

Parents looking for activities to enrich their children’s summer experience or in need of opportunities for their children while they’re at work have several options.

The libraries in Tahlequah and Hulbert have many free fun plans, including the Summer Reading Program, which encourages kids to enjoy reading. Northeastern State University and the Cherokee Nation have week-long day camps.

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service holds weekly summer camps that teach skills like sewing, cooking, crafts and entomology (insects) and more. For 4-H members summer camp is a week of fun-filled, educational activities. Contact their office at 918-456-6163.

“Libraries across the US and Oklahoma do a collaborative program for Summer Reading,” said Tahlequah Public Library Youth Services Coordinator Michelle Newton. “It keeps the kids going with reading in the summer and encourages people to come enjoy their library. It’s a great resource.”

Tahlequah Public Library offers something fun for all ages. The Summer Reading Program, June 3 - 26, has special events and reading incentives planned, with performers on Tuesdays and crafts on Thursday. Performers include the Irish dancers with the Tahlequah Academy of Performing Arts; Wayne and Wingnut a ventriloquist; Animal Tales, with live animals; and Flying Debris, a juggler.

“Parents can sign up for the Summer Reading Program and we’ll give them a paper to keep track of reading time. For every 20 minutes the kids read, they’ll put a sticker on the paper. When they reach 100 minutes, we’ll give them a prize,” said Newton.

On Mondays, June 2, 9 and 16, Baby Bookworms will meet at 10 a.m. Toddler Tales are every Friday at 10 a.m. for children ages 2-3, and Reading Rock Stars meets at 11 for ages 3-6. Every Wednesday at 3 p.m. a teen program this summer will offer EV3’s Lego robot-building projects.

“I’m excited about the robots. We got a grant for eight robots,” said Newton. “We’ll build a different robot each week.”

The Hulbert Library Summer Reading Program kick-off party is Thursday, May 29. They’ll have several activities, including Animal Tales, Juggling with Martin, Wayne and Wingnut, Science Fun Projects and a Father’s Day craft, Sat. June 14 at 10 a.m.

At the kick-off party, parents will receive a calendar of events, reading logs where kids can track books read or time spent reading.

Cherokee Nation’s Camp Cherokee offers day camps for elementary age students and a week-long residential camp for middle and high school students this summer.

Students can learn art, traditional games, storytelling, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities.

The day camps are for students entering grades one through seven. The camps will be held in six locations throughout the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdiction. The overnight residential camp is for 250 students entering grades seven through 12, at Camp Heart O’ Hills, in Welling. Students will attend morning and afternoon classes based on their areas of interest.

Camp site locations, dates of day camps and deadlines to apply are as follows:  Dwight Mission, May 27-30, May 13; Nowata, June 2-6, May 19; Bell, June 9-13, May 26; Claremore, Rogers State University, June 16-20, June 2;  Kansas, June 23-27, June 9;  Heart O’ Hills (day camp) July 21-25, July 7; Heart O’ Hills (residential camp) July 20-25, June 1.

Applications can be found at http://www.cherokee.org/camp/Home.aspx.

For more information, call 918-772-4204 or email camp@cherokee.org.

NSU is offering two new camps this summer, partnering with the Cherokee Art Center for one and a robotics camp on campus partnering with the College of Education. They have camps for children ages 3 through high school.

“We know there’s a question for parents of what to do with their kids while they’re working,” said Rylee Ketcher, director of Continuing Education a NSU. “We are providing camps that are fun while offering critical learning skills and of course we’re hoping to build future Riverhawks.”

Continuing Education is registering for all campus camps. providing links to them, but not making their curriculums, Ketcher said.

On the NSU-Tahlequah Campus camp fees are mostly $150 with some $125 and $200 which includes lunch and materials. Camps touch on a variety of subjects including printmaking, crime scene investigation, basketball, robotics and martial arts.

Contact Continuing Education for dates and times of camps. Call 918-444-4610, or 512 N. Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah, Okla., 74464. Browse camps of interest or all camps at www.nsuok.edu/continuingeducation.

Camps at the Cherokee Art Center, for ages first through fifth grade, have a fee of $68 per camper which includes materials, are creative drawing, imaginative drawing, still life painting for beginners, cartooning basics, illustration, and piñata making.

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